Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said the Imbak Canyon forest conservation area which is made up of 17,000 hectares of virgin forest, will be gazetted as a First Class Forest Reserve. “The process to change the area from a Second Class(Commercial)status to a First Class Reserve is in its final stage,” Musa said after launching the Sabah Foundation’s mobile exhibition and the Sabah Development Corridor(SDC)road show here yesterday. Musa said the Sabah Foundation had been allocated not less then 500,000 hectares of forest for the purpose of conservation and protection, including Danum Valley, Maliau Basin and Ulu Segama-Malua Forest Reserve. “The reclassification of Imbak Canyon will now increase the size of the totally protected areas to 865,000 hectares or 12 percent of the forest in Sabah,” he added. In his speech earlier, Musa said the people of Sabah should not sacrifice the progress and benefits they had enjoyed from the State’s development by falling for the promises made by the opposition. He said the country would not develop if there was no proper planning and vision. “The Barisan Nasional (BN)plans its projects well to benefit the people and it is crucial they ensure the BN helms the State so that it will be able to continue with its development projects,” he said. He said the people should give the BN Government a bigger mandate because only through a strong and stable government would they be able to benefit from continuous development as well as enjoy better living standards. “With undivided support from the people, the BN Government will not underestimate their trust and confidence. Instead, it will be more committed to provide the best service to the people,” he said. Musa said the SDC road show was to enlighten the people on the development programmes so that they would be able to take advantage of the opportunities available. The SDC, launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last month, is a development project to be implemented over 18 years and involves four sectors — agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and logistics. Present at the function were Sabah Development Institute director Datuk Dr Yakob Johari, Sabah Foundation director Tan Sri Datu Khalil Datu Haji jamalul and Sandakan Municipal Council president Yeo Boon Hai.